Sodomisery – The Great Demise Review

As with most debut records from underground newbies, I’m drawn to them by the whos-who list of band members. Like an old-fashioned witch hunt to connect Kevin Bacon to everything, I explore the lineup and their connection to the scene, no matter how big or small that may be. Sweden’s Sodomisery began as a project that included live members from the monstrous Diabolical, as well as Katatonia’s Niklas Sandin on bass and Netherbird’s Johan Fridell on vox. At the completion of their 2017 self-titled EP, Fridell and Sandin left and a new lineup formed. Borrowing from their experiences with Diabolical,1 Sodomisery unleashes a crushing mix of black, death, Swedeath, thrash, and melodeath for their debut, The Great Demise. I know what you’re thinking: that’s a lot to digest. Well, at least the record title sounds uplifting?

After discovering the inclusion of Fridell and Sandin on the Sodomisery EP, I ran to it with great enthusiasm. Simplistic in its creation, the three songs expel atmospheric black metal with hard-hitting riffs and promising guitar work. But, with the departure of these two gents, along went the rasps and black songwriting. In their place, guitarist/vocalist Harris Sopovic combines the meloblack of Dissection and the melodeath qualities of Hypocrisy and Amon Amarth. On top of that, you’ll even find thrashtastic examples of Sodom and old-school Witchery. Sprinkled with clean and acoustic guitars, as well as impressive guitar solos, the vocals of The Great Demise mix Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) with Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) and Nergal (Behemoth)). Sometimes all at once but more often choosing a vocal emphasis to support what the song demands.

Opener “Reapers Key” is an example of those moody, melodic qualities of Amon Amarth. The song is heavy and explosive, dominated by a killer Amarthin chug. But it’s coated in melody—the focal point of every song on the album. Regardless if the song uses melodies over a cruising riff, like “Arise,” or a mid-paced beauty, like “Until They Burn,” they’re there. “Arise” expresses melodics via Hypocrisy-like elements while it destroys everything in its path. After terminating hope, it falls away to the unsettling, closing instrumental, “The Abyss.” “Until They Burn,” on the other hand, opens with a clean, Dissection-inspired guitar intro, whose pace and attitude changes only by the addition of distortion. But, before it displays some powerful soloing, it must pass through sinister, Behemothian fields of black and death. Both songs are a good representation of the subtle diversity found on Demise.

Other diverse numbers include the thrashy duo of “Sacrifice” and “In the Void.” The first uses a sharp, high-pitched lick that reminds me of Don’t Fear the Reaper-era Witchery. Once this riff falls away, we meet more of the melodic qualities we’ve seen already from the opener. The second track goes for a heavier, Sodomizing approach to its guitar work. Sopovic’s vocals reverberating with those of Blythe’s before transforming back to Hegg’s for an Amon Amarth-ish finale.

Like most of the album, “Sacrifice” is home to some fitting guitar solos. Something not surprising from guitarists who once played for Diabolical. Along with the standout soloing, the clean and acoustic guitars of “The Abyss,” “The Messenger,” and “Until They Burn” pulse and breath, thanks muchly to the mix. But, while “The Messenger” and the mid-paced “The Great Demise” sport some top-notch solo work, neither of them does much for the album. Especially the dull title track. If it ditched the filler and stuck its strong diverse tracks, Demise would have scored higher. That said, this is a solid debut from a band I will be keeping my ear on in the future.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: Testimony Records | Bandcamp2
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: May 22nd, 2020

Show 2 footnotes

  1. At least, the early days of Diabolical, before they took the route of Septicflesh.
  2. This is where you can find the new album.
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